One of the conditions that pulmonologists treat is sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder that causes a person's breathing to slow down or completely stop when sleeping. These pauses usually last from seconds to minutes. When a person's breathing resumes, a choking, gasping, or snorting sound is made.
Although sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder, most people with the disorder are not aware of it. Sleep apnea usually has several causes that all result in getting less oxygen into the lungs and blood. Treatment for sleep apnea involves the use of breathing devices and special mouthpieces. Others may benefit from surgery.